A Taliban commander close to the negotiations over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told TIME Thursday that the deal made to secure Bergdahl’s release has made it more appealing for fighters to capture American soldiers and other high-value targets.
“It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people,” the commander said, speaking by telephone on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”
The commander has been known to TIME for several years and has consistently supplied reliable information about Bergdahl’s captivity.
The U.S. agreed on May 31 to exchange five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Bergdahl, America’s only living prisoner of war. Following the deal, the outpouring of relief by those who had long lobbied to “Bring Bowe Home” was soon eclipsed by accusations and recriminations as Republican lawmakers accused the administration of making a dangerous precedent.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Obama’s peace partners in Afghanistan, the Taliban, have beheaded a 10 year old boy and a 16 year old boy for the crime of scavenging for food.
The Taliban was accused of beheading two boys for spying in southern Afghanistan yesterday. (M) Afghan officials said the boys, aged 10 and 16, were kidnapped by Taliban fighters while scavenging for food in rubbish bins near the police headquarters in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city and a key base for Western forces.
The boys are suspected to have accepted food from the police in exchange for information and to have been killed for colluding with police, Kandahar provincial government office said last night.
A man who describes himself as an FBI informant and says he worked to infiltrate the world of terror sympathizers has told a Miami television station that members of the Taliban already are in the United States.
It was the Taliban that controlled the largely ungoverned Afghanistan when the U.S. coalition went into that nation to clean out the influences that allowed Osama bin Laden’s agenda to thrive before the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.
And the comments from South Floridian David Mahmood Siddiqui come just as the nation is breathing a sigh of relief over the death of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, and the capture of the other.
“I am an informant and all I can tell you is that Talibans are walking freely right here in the soil of America right now, right now,” he told CBS4 in Miami.
The interview was conducted by CBS4 Chief Investigator Michele Gillen.
He told the station that America is at risk of another such attack any time.
“They can commit a jihad at any time, they hate America, you have an enemy living here in American soil, do not know when they will take action to kill innocent Americans,” he said.
Siddiqui reportedly was involved in developing evidence in a Florida alleged terror case. At the conclusion of a 29-day trial, Muslim cleric Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, the 77-year-old former head of a mosque in Miami, was convicted of supporting terrorism.
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The Taliban had mocking words for the U.S. as the war in Afghanistan entered its 12th year on Sunday, claiming U.S. and NATO forces are “fleeing” with “humiliation and disgrace.”
The last international combat forces are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 after the U.S.-led invasion Oct. 7, 2001 following the 9/11 terror attacks.
“With the help of Allah, the valiant Afghans under the Jihadi leadership of Islamic Emirate defeated the military might and numerous strategies of America and NATO alliance,” the Taliban said in a statement Sunday, according to AFP.
“And now after eleven years of unceasing terror, tyranny, crimes and savagery, they are fleeing Afghanistan with such humiliation and disgrace that they are struggling to provide an explanation,” it said.
More than 3,100 NATO troops have been killed since the war began, according to the independent website iCasualties.org. Of those troop fatalities, more than 2,000 have been American.
On the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the face of militant Islam has spoken and its words are as chilling as ever. Following a recent hacking of the Taliban’s websites, the radical Islamic group began using social media to spread its propaganda. In a statement dated September 9, 2012, the Taliban addressed America as it mourned the loss of its countrymen. Using “TwitLonger,” a new social media service that allows tweets longer than the typical 140 characters allowed by Twitter, the militants mocked the U.S., claimed victory in Afghanistan and declared their country an “Islamic Emirate.”
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